From the Headmaster's Desk

Come the Winter Solstice on 21st December, the sun will set at 3:52pm in New Barnet, as the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth tilts at its furthest from the sun. Winter has arrived and set up camp. By comparison, on 21st June, it will set at 9:23pm. However, a lack of daylight should not dampen the spirits, especially when celebrating and marking the birth of Jesus in such joyous fashion. In fact, with children in your life, this would be nigh on impossible and no more so than when delving into the final week of a school term.

If last week’s Nativities were the starter, we have been treated to a feast of festive events this week. From the Carol Service, through Santa’s Grotto, Christmas lunch, Christmas jumpers and the annual Scavenger Hunt, we have been busy. I’m surprised the UK had time to arrange a general election (seen as second rate compared to school events by the girls here) at such a busy time of the year, but the Lyonsdown Community found a way to fit it all in – thank you to staff and parents, particularly Santa’s Elves, and everyone else involved.

This was a veritable show reel of a week, at a time of the year when various “best ofs” lists are combined. The BBC are currently profiling the greatest sporting moment of 2019 and I am sure various televisual outlets will ply us with “top 10s”. Lest us not forget that this is the end of several packages of time: a term, a year and a decade – a chance to look back at your favourite moments. Every child at Lyonsdown enters their second decennium. Sitting proofreading and adding my own comments to school reports is a wonderful way to end December – so much has been achieved by the children, but there is more to come from each and every one. The future beckons – for illustrative purposes, by the time the 2020s finish, Year 5 and 6 may well be at university. The holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas and the forthcoming break provide us with chances to rest, review and gain perspective, so that the New Year can be tackled with vigour.

Time is a funny thing… the calendar year’s start in January makes sense, but for those whose diaries are arranged by academic year, and end with a summer holiday, there is still much to do in the 2019-2020 season. The answer given by the children to “what is your favourite thing about Lyonsdown?” after the most popular answers of “the teachers” and “my friends,” often relates to something that is months away. Forward thinking and aspirational – these are important characteristics to encourage.

All the best for a relaxing break and a truly special holiday. On behalf of us all at Lyonsdown, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Mr Hammond